Kenya, the silicon valley of Africa and the largest economy of East Africa, has experienced a rapid increase in digital transactions. It has been a significant and transformative growth so far. A lot of institutions are beginning to go through significant and transformative growth over the years; this is due to the implementation of technological advancements to upscale service delivery to their customers. 


This is a positive and welcomed development. However, negative developments may come with negative developments. These advancements in technology may result in an increase in financial crimes such as money laundering, terrorist financing, and fraud.


The Know Your Customer guidelines by the Central Bank of Kenya of 2011 is no longer enough. However, it contains some basis for KYT, which is the future of KYC.


Know Your Transaction is being regarded as the new solution to identifying customers as well as tracking transactions to avoid the occurrence of illicit activities. With financial institutions, KYT guidelines and regulations have become stricter. 


Financial institutions must make sure that they align with these regulations to the cue. Banks have to conduct research into every counterparty. Since banks can no longer trust the reference from companies, then transactions have to be scrutinized.

What Is KYT?


Know Your Transaction (KYT) is a program that offers businesses crucial analysis to find and recognize suspect fraudulent transactions carried out by customers based on their accounts and profiles.


A successful KYT system helps financial institutions (FIs) to identify suspicious behaviours by integrating customer profiles with their personal transactions. The Know Your Transaction solution is one such model that helps banks monitor and analyze transactions as part of the transaction analysis process in order to spot suspicious activity or fraudulent transactions. 


This research is carried out on bank data internally to find fraudulent transactions. The process results in the act as trustworthy evidence, supporting organizations in safeguarding themselves against fraud and legal penalties. 


What is KYT Compliance?


KYT compliance simply refers to adhering to KYT guidelines and regulations in order to avoid or put a stop to illicit transactions. KYT compliance involves monitoring financial transactions in real-time to identify suspicious activity, such as transactions involving high-risk individuals, counties, and entities, unusual transaction patterns, or transactions that are inconsistent with the pattern of a customer's behaviour. 


KYT compliance is part of the efforts that connote the Anti Money Laundering (AML) regulations. AML regulations are designed to prevent the use of financial institutions for money laundering and terrorist financing activities. KYT is a proactive approach to AML compliance, and it allows businesses to identify suspicious activity even before it can cause harm.


KYT compliance involves the use of advanced technological tools such as AI and machine learning algorithms to analyze large volumes of financial data in real-time. These tools can help businesses identify potential risks and can help them take action to prevent financial crimes. 


In summary, KYC compliance is an important and necessary component of an effective AML compliance program, and it helps businesses to mitigate risks and protect themselves from financial risks such as fraud.

Why Should Financial Institutions In Kenya be KYT Compliant??


KYT is an important process that helps determine if transactions are legal and not linked in any way to illicit activities such as financial crimes, money laundering, the mass proliferation of weapons, and financing of international terrorism. Using KYT, financial institutions or companies can analyze and calculate the risk levels of the transactions that their customers make. 


KYT does not only help financial institutions analyze risks, but it also helps them take necessary steps like filling a suspicious transaction report with the relevant authorities or bodies when a risk is detected.


As mentioned earlier, in recent times, Kenya has experienced a mass growth of digital financial transactions and an uprising of fintech and tech firms. This gives rise to several reasons for KYT compliance, such as;


a. It is a legal requirement


The Central Bank of Kenya requires banks and financial institutions to be KYT compliant. This is because of the issued guidelines that require financial institutions to establish and maintain a comprehensive KYT framework to identify, monitor and report suspicious transactions.


b. Risk Mitigation


KYT compliance will help financial institutions in Kenya mitigate risks associated with money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes. By having robust KYT policies and procedures, banks can identify and prevent fraudulent transactions; it will also protect them from reputational damage and regulatory sanctions.


c. Protects Customers


KYT compliance aids the protection of customers from financial crimes that may cause financial harm to them. By identifying and reporting suspicious transactions, banks can aid law enforcement agencies in investigating and prosecuting financial criminals, thereby safeguarding their customers' funds.


d. KYT Improves the Reputation of A Financial Institution


It is important for businesses in Kenya's global market to be KYT compliant. Companies that demonstrate compliance with KYT regulations are perceived as trustworthy and responsible with their funds. This enhances business reputation and can help attract more customers.


e. Facilitating International Transactions


KYT compliance is essential for banks that facilitate international transactions. Banks that are KYT compliant can establish relationships with other banks in other jurisdictions, which is necessary for global transactions. Failure to comply with KYT regulations can lead to international banks severing their relationships with non-compliant banks, thereby hindering international trade and finance.


Recommended - Benefits Of Transaction Monitoring Software For Anti-Money Laundering


What Are The Challenges of KYT Compliance In Kenya? 


Some of the challenges associated with KYT compliance in Kenya include: 


1.  Money laundering and terrorist financing


Money laundering and terrorist financing are significant challenges facing the Kenyan banking sector. These crimes are often perpetrated by sophisticated criminal networks that use multiple channels and techniques to conceal their activities. Financial institutions in Kenya are required by law to implement strict due diligence measures to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. However, despite these measures, criminals still find ways to infiltrate the financial system.


2. Lack of skilled personnel


The banking sector in Kenya is facing a shortage of skilled personnel with expertise in transaction compliance. This has led to a situation where many banks have to rely on external consultants to provide transaction compliance services. This, in turn, has increased the cost of compliance, making it difficult for smaller banks to compete with larger institutions.


3. Limited access to technology


Access to technology is a significant challenge facing many banks in Kenya, particularly those in rural areas. Many smaller banks lack the necessary technology infrastructure to implement effective transaction compliance systems. This has led to a situation where many banks have to rely on manual processes to monitor transactions, increasing the risk of errors and omissions.


4.  Insufficient regulatory oversight


The regulatory oversight of the banking sector in Kenya has been criticized for being inadequate. Many banks are able to circumvent regulatory requirements by using loopholes and other means to evade detection. This has led to a situation where some banks are not complying with transaction compliance regulations, leading to increased risk for customers and the financial system as a whole.


What Are The Best Practices For KYC Compliance?


What are the practices that can help combat the challenges discussed earlier? How can KYC be advanced to KYT? Well, let's discuss some of  these measures:


a. Implement robust due diligence measures


To combat money laundering and terrorist financing, banks in Kenya should implement robust due diligence measures. This includes the use of Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures to verify the identity of customers and monitor their transactions. Banks should also implement enhanced due diligence measures for high-risk customers, such as politically exposed persons (PEPs) and those operating in high-risk sectors.


b. Hire Skilled Personnel


To ensure effective transaction compliance, banks in Kenya should hire skilled personnel with expertise in transaction monitoring and risk management. This will enable banks to implement effective transaction monitoring systems and to identify and respond to suspicious transactions quickly.


 c. Invest in Technology


Investing in technology is essential for banks in Kenya to implement effective transaction monitoring systems. Banks should consider using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies to identify patterns and anomalies in transaction data. This will enable banks to detect suspicious transactions quickly and respond to them effectively.


 d. Maintain a Strong Culture of Compliance


To ensure that transaction compliance is embedded in the organizational culture of banks, it is essential to have a strong compliance culture. This includes regular training for staff on transaction compliance regulations and procedures and regular testing and monitoring of compliance systems to identify weaknesses and areas for improvement.  

Achieving KYT Compliance with Youverify


Youverify is a frictionless and automated operating system that allows financial institutions and start-ups to seamlessly comply with KYC and KYC compliance regulations. The Youverify operating system allows companies to automate due diligence on one platform in a convenient and effective way. It also has centralized cash management alerts, audit trails, and reporting.


KYT is here to stay and is the future of KYC. Satisfy compliance while customers enjoy seamless transactions using advanced transaction monitoring software like Youverify's. 


See how 100+ leading companies use Youverify for KYC and AML screening of customers for compliance and real-time risk detection. Request a demo today.